When you’re thinking about business writing, it’s really important to get across all the information and details about your products and services that your customer needs to choose them. But we also all know how off putting it is when we read websites just go on and on about how great the business is, without considering our needs as customers.
As a writer, how do you balance these two influences? You have to write in such a way that your customer thinks it’s all about them but they still absorb the details of what you offer.
Don’t ‘we’ all over them
For most businesses, it makes sense to refer to the organisation as ‘we’ and the customer as ‘you’ when writing for their website. This familiarity helps to draw out your personality, and starts to build a relationship in the readers mind.
But it can be easy to fall into the trap of saying all the things ‘we’ do, and how brilliant are the services ‘we’ offer. Have a look through and see how many times the word ‘we’ appears on your site, and compare it with ‘you’. Who gets more mentions? Hopefully it’s your customers. If not you need to do more than just find and replace the word ‘we’. Rewrite your sentences to move the emphasis away from yourselves and onto the reader.
Make them the subject
Quick grammar recap. In any sentence, there is a subject and usually an object – the subject does something, the object has things done to it.
We can solve all your problems.
The subject here is ‘we’ and the object ‘your problems’.
You can solve all your problems, with our help.
In this one, ‘you’ is the subject and ‘your problems’ and ‘our help’ are the objects.
Your customers will prefer the second one, because they are the subject, so it’s about them. But you haven’t cut yourself out of the picture entirely, of course.
Talk about their needs, not your solutions
You may have come up with the best product since sliced bread. But no one is going to want it until they think they need a sandwich. It’s the oldest sales technique in the world, but it’s so easy to forget to do. Your website shouldn’t be focusing on your sliced bread, it should be focusing on your customers’ sandwiches.
How great are sandwiches! Research has shown that most blog readers like you love a good sandwich. Some studies have indicated that a reader with a sandwich is more likely to put all they’ve learned into practice and write excellent blogs of their own. Which means if you had a sandwich to hand, you could write articles as great as this one.
Now you want a sandwich, obviously. Got any bread?